Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Tariff Sheriffs

The Great Wall of China was built to keep out maraudars back in the days of the Ming Dynasty. Today we're trying to wall them out for what we perceive as unfair trade practices. Trouble is the world is moving toward globalization and we seem to want isolationism. While the issue is a complex one, we should beware of election year tactics we'll be told are designed to punish the Chinese for manipulating their currency to make their goods cheaper for the American market and American goods more expensive for their own.
Wal-Mart seems to bear the brunt of the black hat gang. There was a time when communities welcomed them with open arms - communities like ours where prices are high and incomes, for too many, low. Well, you tell me, they buy products on the cheap from China and the likes and we've lost our livelyhoods because of it. How often do you read the tags in the clothing you buy at K-Mart or Target? Even LL Bean!

I cannot disagree that it has turned into mostly exodus, but we have brought a lot of it on ourselves with our own greed. Unions continue to demand more. They continue to call strikes - setting both their membership and the companies they are striking to take giant steps in the wrong direction - backwards.

The result has been the outsourcing of jobs. Not just manufacturing jobs, but technology and research as well. Look at Microsoft or Apple - when have you actually talked with a service tech that's in this country? Though I do wish they'd give them better instruction into the intricacies of American speak! The Maytags of the world will not be coming back nor the textile and apparel industry that once thrived in the Carolinas. Heck, you can go to Thailand for a hip replacement for less than you can get it here - including airfare and first class accommodations for accompanying family. Why? A better educated work force works for less.

Slave wages? Not to them. No more so than for those feared "illegals" who come across the border to do the field work we won't. Think a head of lettuce is expensive now? Think what it would cost if pickers were paid union wages? It would alll gets passed through.

So beware the grand idea of imposing a 27.5% tariff on Chinese goods coming into this country. Round it up to 30% to make the math easier. Next time you buy something consider what it would cost with that extra 30%. Would you still buy it? Wal-Mart or not?

1 comment:

Mel said...

This might have been double-posted, blog did something weird...

But what I'd tried to say was that you're very sharp, Mari, and that I wish I were as in-tune as you to goings on... I guess it wasn't meant to be, hehe.

I once heard a reason as to why medicine is cheaper elsewhere (or expensive in the States... preferably the latter, considering what I'm gonna put). The thing is, doctors are so afraid of lawsuits that they'll run tests for the most unlikely things just to be sure...

The other thing I'd typed was that my computer's fried, but that my dad's seeing about installing a new hard drive (I didn't know they were replaceable, I thought fried hard drive meant garbage-bound computer, but apparently not...)

PS: I just noticed why blog was acting weird, and it was because I typed my password wrong, so this will indeed be the first post... I just don't feel like going back and making it look like such :P